The Welsh Government is sending in a team to monitor Pembrokeshire Council after the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) and school inspections body Estyn identified 25 cases of alleged child abuse in the education services. The investigation was triggered by the case of primary school head teacher David Thorley, who was jailed in 2009 for sex assaults on children in his care. (Details of that case from BBC: Sex assault head teacher jailed). The report criticised the council for its “wholly unacceptable” handling of the child abuse allegations. Continue reading Welsh Government focus on School safeguarding
The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) will be handing over its regulatory functions to the Department for Education in April 2012, from which time Mr Gove will become accountable for cases of teacher misconduct and maintaining the list of those barred. The changes were outlined in the recent Education Bill, which is currently being scrutinised by Parliamentary committee. Continue reading GTCE handover responsibility for teacher misconduct and barring in April 2012
A Birmingham teacher who was unlawfully arrested after being accused of assaulting a pupil has been awarded £1,000 compensation at the High Court. Mark Richardson, 39, was arrested even though he volunteered to be interviewed by police. No prosecution was brought and he sued West Midlands Police, fearing the stain the arrest would leave on his record. As well as claiming he was unlawfully arrested, Mr Richardson also wanted West Midlands Police to destroy DNA samples, fingerprints and photographs taken at the time and for his arrest entry on the Police National Computer (PNC) to be deleted or amended.
However while Mrs Justice Slade ruled that Mr Richardson’s arrest was unlawful, she declined these other requests, noting that the force said it would “take it properly into account when making any decision as to a request by the claimant for destruction or removal” of fingerprints and DNA. The force said it was investigating the handling of the 2009 case.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said she would be writing to the secretary of state for education and the home secretary to seek changes to national procedures.
“This is a landmark decision for teachers and others who are vulnerable to allegations made by children and young people,” he said. “New guidance for police is needed urgently to prevent these needless arrests that wreck innocent people’s careers. “Teachers are vulnerable to allegations made by pupils. “Such allegations frequently involve police investigation. “The overwhelming majority prove to be false but teachers are often deeply traumatised and their career is blighted.”
Ofsted has launched a consultation on the inspection of maintained schools and academies in England, following proposals announced in the 2011 Education Bill. This Bill aims to re-focus school inspection on the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, backed by leadership and good discipline in schools. The consultation seeks views on how Ofsted will implement these changes, including when Ofsted should inspect.
Outstanding schools will no longer be subject to routine inspections unless concerns about their performance are identified, and the consultation asks for views on the factors inspectors should consider when assessing whether an inspection is needed. In addition, it asks for views on plans to carry out more frequent inspections of weaker schools and on the circumstances in which schools may request an inspection. Ofsted will also be testing the new inspection arrangements in pilot inspections, with a view to introducing the new system in January 2012, subject to the successful passage of the Education Bill. Continue reading Ofsted Consultation on School Inspections
The Association of School and College Leaders has warned that Head teachers are planning to make large-scale redundancies, It claims the new English Baccalaureate means many schools are scaling down on staff who teach vocational courses. Continue reading Budget cuts hitting schools
The Capita Group has been appointed as preferred supplier by the Department for Education to run the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS).
TPS online provides the current quick check facility for barred status. Continue reading Capita win Education contract
- The need for checks to be drastically reduced to ‘common sense’ levels -now it will only apply to those who have the most close and regular contact with children or vulnerable adults, such as professional childcare workers or teachers. The total number who will need to undergo background checks will halve to around 4.5million, although who this includes does not appear to have been defined judging from the interview given by Nick Clegg his morning on BBC.
- Continual updating and portability will be enabled so that teachers and care home workers who do require checks will have their records constantly updated. This is seen as a key benefit and was already planned in by CRB.
- The content of CRBs will be reviewed – for instance the changes will also drastically cut the use of ‘soft intelligence’ when examining a person’s history. Unproven allegations will only be placed on a person’s record if a Chief Constable believes they are true.
Checks that are unnecessary and which breach an employee’s privacy could be referred to the data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner, and any employer found knowingly to have requested an unlawful check could face fines running to thousands of pounds. This will prevent the over zealous use of CRBs such as the school in Warrington that would not be allowed into the premises to see their children.
- the Independent Safeguarding Authority will be merged with the Criminal Records Bureau. Continue reading Reduced CRB regime announced
Three public consultations on aspects of the CRB and the VBS were run by the Department for Education and ended in July.
This was the planned launch of the Vetting & Barring Scheme, which would have enrolled over 9 million members over the 5 years of the phased roll out. Continue reading Planned launch date of the VBS